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Pharmaceutical Supply Chains Need Supply Chain Visibility Tools

The pharmaceutical industry is a huge global business with an intricate supply chain that demands visibility and transparency. The top drug-makers are conglomerates, with divisions and research arms located across multiple geographic regions operating across complex partner ecosystems.

Adding to the complexity, partners may own entire segments of the value chain, making effective supply chain management seem almost impossible to achieve. It’s easy to understand why technologies that give supply chain managers visibility and the ability to quickly see where to focus their time are in high demand.

Pharmaceutical supply chains demand end-to-end visibility

Under everyday circumstances, making sure shipments arrive on time and intact for the individuals who rely on them — without spoilage or breakage — is paramount to pharmaceutical companies. And in cases where medicine is needed for humanitarian crises, the importance of pharmaceutical supply chain efficiency is magnified.

Avoiding disruption and reducing costs are two very compelling business reasons for pharma firms to invest in tools to improve their supply chain visibility.

Supply chain blind spots’ impact on ETA and costs

To help understand where goods are, there are companies that still rely only on electronic data interchange (EDI) reports. Unfortunately, these are ill-suited for providing an accurate, comprehensive view of goods in motion throughout supply chains.

That’s because EDI reports are milestone-based and there are more opportunities for inaccurate data entry. For example, a worker who manually enters that a shipment has left the plant may do so before it leaves or hours after it has left. Either scenario throws off an Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) projection.

Blind spots in supply chains make it easier for missed handoffs at transshipment points, counterfeiting, theft, or spoilage to occur. Poor visibility is responsible for excessive supply chain costs including late/early delivery fines, as well as detention and demurrage fees.

Leverage live streaming data to improve accountability

If risky shipping routes, transfers, or theft could be avoided, wouldn’t you choose to safeguard your goods by selecting safer routes? The right in-transit visibility solution paves the way for better accountability across your entire supply chain ecosystem.

Savi’s live streaming data collection provides your organization with valuable, relevant metrics, such as preferred shipping routes and carriers by lane.

And when Savi Visibility™ is coupled with an insight analytics programs, such as Savi Insight™, a variety of robust risk analyses can be performed to generate prescriptive suggestions for risk mitigation and supply chain optimization.

Pharmaceutical supply chain managers can use reports designed to analyze routes in progress, where cargo is stopped, stop duration, and risk events on specific routes to achieve accurate condition and location status of their shipments and meet delivery expectations. To ensure goods arrive on time and in full, you need the best tools and guidance available.

Avoid supply chain disruption

As the saying goes, the one constant is change. Shipping routes are no different. They can require changes for myriad reasons, such as avoiding inclement weather, circumventing transfer bottlenecks, or to comply with a new destination.

And yet, opportunities for contingency plan execution are often missed due to a lack of visibility and accurate real-time location status. Even when, or if disruption alerts are available, they are not received with enough time to act on them.

In order to keep your shipments on track, up to the minute end-to-end visibility is essential. Luckily, these capabilities are available now for a very reasonable investment. You may start by targeting your organization’s most pressing areas of poor performance and expand to include other areas once the ROI has been demonstrated.

When to use sensors

While sensors are not absolutely required to achieve complete supply chain visibility, depending on your business need, they may be part of the solution. As this case study of a top biopharmaceutical company illustrates, enterprises shipping drugs – high-value goods that are regulated and must be protected from tampering, theft, and counterfeiting – can get clear ROI from using sensors and Savi Visibility software.

Savi sensors deliver real-time alerts to improve performance and reduce risk. Alerts are configurable and can include deviation from corridors, tampered tags at unauthorized locations, suspiciously long stationary stops, etc.

Having access to notifications in real-time allows for on-site operations personnel to remedy disruptions rapidly, or for them to deploy contingency measures to preserve a closed cold chain and meet contract fulfillment.

The road to pharma supply chain success

Partnering with an in-transit visibility solution provider is the best way to minimize pharmaceutical supply chain disruptions and reduce out of control expenses that are affecting the bottom line. Savi is trusted to support some of the world’s largest and most complex supply chain networks for large CPG, Pharma, the U.S. Department of Defense, and over a dozen government agencies around the globe.

Give yourself and your supply chain partners the best chance for success in order to effectively optimize supply chain performance, reduce disruptions, eliminate excess costs, and get goods where they are needed, on time and intact.

Ready for a conversation? We’d love to hear from you.